Sensory: relating to sensation or the physical senses; transmitted or perceived by the senses.
I’m a hands on learner, so sensory play is my go-to. Lucky for me, E seems to be a hands on fella, as well. So, I think we’ll tackle this mother/son learning thing pretty well! I’m always brainstorming fun & creative ways for us to play/learn to help spice things up. Now, don’t get me wrong. We love some blocking building (well, banging) but even that can get old after a while.
So, here are a few of our favorite inexpensive, DIY, at home (etc, etc) sensory play items from the past month or so!
Use a baking sheet or a tupperware container depending on your kid’s level of *grab & fling* technique. E’s wild, so we stuck the baking sheet. Fill it with a few inches of water & some kitchen utensils (and/or toys) & let ’em go to town! This will be even better as it warms up & we can play outside!
Take a piece of paper, blob some paint on it & stick it in a gallon size bag. We used card stock & (me being me, doing the most) used painter’s tape to form an “E”. This way we had a personalized “painting”! Also, use better color choices than me. We got a little dismal with the dark colors. E wasn’t nearly as into this as I was hoping, but it was still pretty fun. I’ll have to try again in a few weeks to see if he’s warmed up to the idea.
Now this was fun!! I’m that Mom, so we used gelatin & (ever so little) food coloring but jello works, too. Make your jiggly substance of choice in a tupperware container & put some of your babe’s favorite toys in the liquid. Allow a few hours in the fridge (we did overnight) to set & let your little practice their dexterity & dig for their toys! Pro Tip: Allow it to come to room temp first. E got MAD when his little hands got too cold & need a break. Whoops, lol.
Shout out to my sister & her interior design friends for hooking us up with some awesome fabric swatches. Eventually these will go on a sensory play board, but for now E loves to play with them as they are. The crazier the design and/or texture, the better! Sometimes it’s easy to forget, but EVERYTHING is new to our little ones. That scratchy fabric might drive up us a wall, but they will love the experience of feeling its roughness.
Water Bottle Entertainment
The sound of an empty water bottle squishing between their teeny hands is one most babes love. & while alone they are a good enough play toy, they are even better with exciting things inside (plus, this really helps with learning distance/volume). So far, we have a colorful poof balls, a glitter & water mixture, colorful buttons (<- awesome DIY rattle), & a star confetti & water mixture bottles. I have some googly eye & pipe cleaner bottles in the works, also!
Lately, we have also been playing in the grass; E loves grabbing it & feeling it in between his toes. Occasionally he’s even enjoyed a Saran Wrap roll (much thicker than a paper towel roll), banging it on pretty much everything he can reach! There are so many every day items that you probably already have on hand that you can use for sensory play; it’s wonderful!! Go through your kitchen or craft room & see what you can find. You’ll be surprised what you’re able to come up with to help enhance your babe’s sensory play & hands on learning! Comment below & share your creativity; I’m always looking for new ideas!!